Islamic Center of Greater Toledo Reveals Damage From Arson

PERRYSBURG — On Thursday, members of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo gave the media a look at the damage caused by an intentional fire set at the facility on Sunday.

Members, of the Islamic Center, were allowed back into their place of worship for the first time on Wednesday.

Once power was restored to the building, they learned that much more had been lost than they had anticipated.

“Every single room is damaged. Every room is out of commission,” President of the Islamic Center Dr. Mahjabeen Islam said.

Though no official damage estimate has been given, Islam believes that “most of the material is not salvageable.”

In the mosque’s main prayer room, where is fire is believed to have been set, a large portion of the carpet is torched.

“There is a smell of gasoline,” Islam described.

Smoke and water damage also covers the walls, floors and ceiling tiles of many other rooms in the facility.

Manal Elshiekh, a 2nd grade teacher at the Islamic Center, said almost everything in her classroom “was destroyed”.

“Everything, even the materials we did with our own hands, the kids artwork, and materials got destroyed,” Elshiekh said as she fought back tears.

Islam says that in the week since the fire, members have received an outpouring of support from people in both the Islamic and non-Islamic Communities.

The Islamic Center President adds that she hopes the incident will also unite the community to call for justice in the case she considers an “attack on Muslims and “a hate crime”.

“People who harbor this hatred need to be marginalized and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Islam said. READ MORE: http://www.northwestohio.com/news/story.aspx?id=809272#.UHDmk0083oU

Anniston Islamic Center opening free medical clinic for uninsured

The Anniston Islamic Center is opening up a free health clinic for the uninsured of Calhoun County. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)

The Anniston Islamic Center is opening up a free health clinic for the uninsured of Calhoun County. (Anniston Star photo by Bill Wilson)

Dr. Abdul Kazi does not have to be convinced there is a significant number of uninsured residents in the Calhoun County area.

He sees them through his practice all the time.

“I see a lot of them,” said Kazi, an Anniston ophthalmologist, a specialist who treats diseases of the eye. “I try to help them out as much as I can … sometimes I operate on them without them having any way to pay and cover them.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Calhoun County has a higher rate of uninsured people than the state average — a problem that means a lower quality of life for those uninsured and higher medical costs for the hospitals and clinics that eventually treat them. However, Kazi says, the time is right for him and his fellow physicians who attend the Anniston Islamic Center to do what they can to combat the problem.

The Anniston Islamic Center on McCall Drive will hold an open house between 2 and 5 p.m. Friday for its Salam Free Clinic for the uninsured of Calhoun County. Those uninsured who visit the clinic will receive free screenings for diabetes, high cholesterol and other conditions. Once the center has finished filling out the necessary federal paperwork for liability insurance for its volunteer physicians, the clinic will fully open in November and provide a variety of services such as pediatric and eye care, said Kazi, who is also president of the Islamic Center.

Read more:Anniston Star – Anniston Islamic Center opening free medical clinic for uninsured